As the owner of Bristow Landscaping in Wake Forest, N.C., Logan Bristow relies on his Massey Ferguson tractors and Woods Equipment Company landscape implements virtually every day of the year. While the most often used machines are a MF1540 compact tractor and a Woods counter-rotating tiller, he also owns several other pieces of Massey Ferguson and Woods equipment. All of the machines, he relates, were purchased from Louisburg Tractor & Truck Company in Louisburg, N.C.
“Part of the reason I have so much equipment from both brands is the good relationship I have with the dealer,” he says. “But I also like the durability and versatility of the equipment. We’ve never once had a problem with Woods implements, and the MF1540, in particular, is small enough to get in tight areas, yet powerful enough to run the tiller in tough conditions.”
While Massey Ferguson dealers and Woods have had a long-running affiliation, that relationship has expanded at the company level, says Alistair McLelland, AGCO vice president of marketing, North America. In an effort to provide Massey Ferguson customers with the highest quality implements available anywhere, AGCO Corporation and Woods have joined together to market a full line of Woods rotary cutters, finishing mowers, flail shredders, rear-mounted snow blowers and landscape equipment through participating Massey Ferguson dealerships.
AGCO’s Massey Ferguson Manufacturing Facility at Beauvais, France, has been presented with France’s prestigious Factory of the Year 2016 award.
The Beauvais site in Picardy beat ten other shortlisted factories from a wide range of industries in France to win the title.
The Factory of the Year Awards are organised by “L’Usine Nouvelle”, the leading industrial magazine in France. In selecting the overall Factory of the Year Award winner, the Jury looked for a facility that has demonstrated an in-depth transformation initiative and delivered significant performance gains including increases in productivity, quality, competitiveness and market share. Key partner of the awards event and a member of the judging panel is Boston Consulting Group, a leading global management and business strategy specialist.
Operated by Massey Ferguson’s parent company, AGCO, which is headquartered in Duluth in the United States, the AGCO Beauvais site designs and manufactures Massey Ferguson tractors from 75-400 hp. It is France’s largest producer and exporter of farm machinery. Some 14,500 tractors leave the assembly lines each year, 85% of which are shipped to markets all over the world. In the last 12 months, four new MF tractor ranges built at the plant have been unveiled for global markets.
The Factory of the Year award recognises the AGCO Beauvais facility’s successful and wide-ranging reorganisation project known as MF Fast Forward. The plant has seen significant productivity gains through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing processes, 5S good housekeeping techniques and the Hoshin Kanri Continuous Improvement Strategy.
In addition, the Jury highlighted the site’s Quality Transformation Initiative and the clear commitment of Beauvais employees to the transformation process. Latest in-house figures from the plant show a rise in manufacturing quality levels, while Massey Ferguson’s Customer Satisfaction Index reveals improvements in perceived quality by end-users. For example, non-conformances in the production process have been reduced by more than 40% during the last two years from what was already a very good base. Massey Ferguson’s comprehensive Customer Satisfaction survey reveals that in respect of tractor product quality at the point of delivery, the ‘positive answers’ ratio from end-users has moved up to 94% in less than five years.
“It is a privilege and honour to win this coveted award,” says Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe, Africa, Middle East. “It is a tribute to our 2500-strong workforce at Beauvais who have been the architects of the factory’s major transformation over the last five years. This latest accolade is yet another milestone in our relentless pursuit of continuous improvement to ensure our customers get the very best products for their farm businesses.”
“The award comes in addition the prize won by the Beauvais site earlier this year as France’s Best Foreign Exporter,” he continues. “High-quality manufacturing is at the heart of the renowned reliability and dependability of Massey Ferguson equipment. This, coupled with our leading design and engineering, is ensuring that our famous ‘Triple Triangle’ brand continues to move ahead. Massey Ferguson’s market share increased again across the Europe, Africa, Middle East region last year – the 6th consecutive year we have increased this figure.”
Commenting, Boussad Bouaouli, Vice-President Manufacturing Beauvais says: “The Beauvais Quality Transformation Initiative is part of AGCO’s global objective to be N°1 in Perceived Quality and was considered an outstanding achievement by the Factory of the Year Award Jury members. It illustrates every single employee’s dedication to deliver ‘best in class quality’ for each individual tractor on the production the line. We are thrilled to receive the title of Factory of the Year and congratulate all our employees in Beauvais. This award is truly the result of their commitment and hard work.”
A flat grassy patch atop the sloped wooded pasture on his western North Carolina farm affords Dave Everett sumptuous views of the Big Sandy Mush Valley and several 4,500-foot-plus peaks beyond. Fooled by Dave’s presence in the pasture in the early afternoon, a handful of cows begin bellowing, anticipating a meal.
Dave and his wife, Kim, tend to their farm and their 30-head of cattle with the help of their Massey Ferguson 1540 with 4WD, which allows them to manage the steep inclines of their hilly pastureland with ease.
In addition to farming, the Everetts have helped restore and preserve the fields, woods and streams that spread out below their pastures. “We said that we want this farm to be recognizable to folks who lived here 100 years before us,” Dave says.
In the bucolic Sandy Mush area, such preservation efforts are not as easy as they may sound. The region—actually two valleys with several coves in each—is within 15 miles of the bustling mountain tourist mecca of Asheville. Nearby mountains and valleys are prime targets for vacation and second home developments consisting of 3,500-square-foot “cabins.” Kim and Dave themselves first used the area as a getaway when living near Washington, D.C.
Simply put, the value of the land in the area is worth a lot more for development than it is for farming or open space.
Victoria farmer/contractor Brad Mayfield has a new high-density Massey Ferguson 2270XD large square baler that will allow him to produce the top-quality bales his customers expect.
Brad and his wife Carla run Oakleigh Hay Contracting & Sales and each year they grow 300 hectares of crops on their farm in Victoria’s Western District to make hay for their clients in the dairy and beef industry.
“I have run a Massey Ferguson 2170 RotoCut baler for two seasons,” Brad says. “I’ve been very happy with it. It’s very reliable.”
“I sell the hay that I produce and am chasing the extra 20 percent weight gain in my bales, plus the extra speed when baling. Because the window for baling in the Western District is very short, speed is a definite advantage. That’s a big reason I have purchased the new MF 2270XD baler, which is also RotoCut.”
Brad says the RotoCut version of the new baler suits him very well for two reasons.
Former news anchor Tom Brokaw dubbed them “the greatest generation,” World War II heroes who came home to parades, the G.I. Bill and a grateful nation. In 2016, the 75th anniversary of the start of U.S. involvement in WWII is commemorated.
Ben Grant, who died in 2014, epitomized that heroism and can-do attitude. An Oklahoma native who farmed in Pasco, Wash., Grant was commissioned in the Second Infantry Division in 1941. Soon after, Pearl Harbor was attacked. He flew 56 combat missions in North Africa and Italy, the last six of which he took on after he’d received papers to go home.
Grant with wife Alma set out to farm in 1946, ending up where the Grand Cooley Dam had made desert land arable with irrigation. He became one of the largest custom cutter operators in the Pacific Northwest. The Massey Ferguson combine engineers were on a first-name basis with Grant, frequently testing in his fields. All together, Grant held 14 patents, 7 in the U.S. and 7 in Canada.
Bughi praises his friend’s generosity—he gave more than $1 million to Oklahoma State University—and Grant’s accomplishments. “Besides being a World War II hero, you’d have to go a long way to find someone who had more to do with Massey combines,” Bughi says.
To see the whole story and a photo of Grant’s Massey Ferguson 750 prototype combine, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/farmstead/soldier-farmer-innovator/.